Scale model cockpit FPV

cool scale cockpit video

Funny Zoo Snap

man enjoys elephant My wife noticed this in the family archives.

RC Nitro motorcycle racing

rc motorcycle Motorcycle racing in Lilliput.

Manned RC Multicopter

manned multicopter
Here’s an RC multicopter big enough to ride on!

Make: Talk 004

make: Talk 004
I had a fun time talking to Mark Frauenfelder in episode 4 of his new podcast, Make: Talk!

One Man Basement Band

one man band
I feel like I could be getting more mileage out of my right foot.


liberty vintage motorcycles An Etsy portrait. Thanks, Danny.

Tequila Sleeve

tequila the champs
Champs sleeve

Wolf-Stelzer Book Lamp

Book Lamp
My friend Tess just made the cover of ReadyMade with her cool lamp design.

Tree Stump Bug

Can this be for real? The design is so awesomely Thunderbirds. Via

The Nothing Box

nothing box


Thunderbirds are go
Are Go!

Command Center

command center
Sweet assemblage spaceship’s bridge.

Four Drano’s

Watch the sink slowly, all but disappear from the design .

Toothpaste Aerosol

toothpaste aerosol
Aerosol toothpaste

Jarle Helland Needlecraft

jarle helland

Jarle Helland came to the U.S. from Norway in 1920 after serving his compulsory stint in the Norwegian Army. To sample the New World, he purchased a Tin Lizzie and drove it across the continent at a time when (I would imagine) his route was scarcely paved.

Jarle was a tinkerer’s tinkerer. A master carpenter and mason, he built his own house in Bellingham, Washington – first constructing the garage, living and working there while he built the main house. By the time he was finished, the estate boasted 9 buildings. He built his own wooden boat, complete with windsheild salvaged from a ’55 Chevrolet. From what I can tell, he liked to keep a tool in his hand.

jarle helland

But he was also comfortable with an embroidery hoop in his lap.

Jarle Helland was my wife Linda’s Grandfather and she admired him immensely. She has a lot of grand-daughterly memories of her grandpa. He smoked a pipe, salted his bacon, spoke Norwegian and sweetened his coffee by keeping a sugar cube in his mouth while sipping his cup-o-joe. Whenever the grand kids would come to visit the house, they would rush to the bedroom nightstand where they would find a single candy corn waiting for them in a purple bowl. As was common with carpenters of his generation, Jarle was missing a good number of fingers by the time he retired.

Linda also remembers staring at this tapestry as a little girl, imagining herself as the girl in the boat, cruising around the Fjords.

jarle helland

Her grandfather embroidered this monumental (5 feet wide) piece of stitchery. Of course, I don’t know the exact circumstances, but I can imagine that he completed this over the course of a dreary Washington winter while listening the news on a wooden console radio, passing the time between trips to the basement to shovel lumps of coal into the furnace.

We just inherited this piece, which now hangs in in our laundry room, a nice reminder of a talented and crafty grandpa from Norway.


Linda’s cousin Erik says:

“Came across a great write-up about my grandfather and wanted to add a couple pics of his 1959 Norseman boat. Built by the Bellingham Boat Co, he purchased the rough and mostly incomplete hull. Suited him well as he was a Norwegian immigrant originally from the fjords of Norway. My dad swept floors there so grandpa received a 10% discount. A woodworker by profession and hobby, he went to work on completing the deck, interior, etc. Windshield compliments of a smashed 1955 Ford found in a junkyard! Since grandpa died, we’ve replaced the old 35 hp Evinrude with a 55 hp Suzuki and refinished all surfaces. Don’t worry, the old “Tee-Nee” trailer (shown) was also replaced with a solid EZ Loader a couple years back.”

norseman boat
norseman boat
norseman boat

4 Responses to “Jarle Helland Needlecraft”

  1. Archibald Drinkwater Says:

    Is That Him ??!?!?? Is That Barton Fink !!!!?

    Lemme put my arms around this guy! let me hug this Guy!
    (He bear-hugs Barton.)

    . . . How the hell are ya? Good trip?

    He separates without waiting for an answer.

    My name is Jack Lipnik. I run this dump.
    You know that – you read the papers.

    Lipnik is lumbering back to his desk.

    Lou treating you all right? Got everything
    you need? What the hell’s the matter with
    your face? What the hell’s the matter with
    his face, Lou?

    It’s not as bad as it looks; just a mosquito
    in my room –

    Place okay?

    To Lou:

    . . . Where did we put him?

    I’m at the Earle.

    Never heard of it. Let’s move him to the
    Grand, or the Wilshire, or hell, he can stay
    at my place.

    Thanks, but I wanted a place that was less…

    Less Hollywood? Sure, say it, it’s not a
    dirty word. Sat whatever the hell you want.
    The writer is king here at Capitol Pictures.
    You don’t believe me, take a look at your
    paycheck at the end of every week – that’s
    what we think of the writer.

    To Lou:

    . . . so what kind of pictures does he like?

    Mr. Fink hasn’t given a preference, Mr. Lipnik.

    How’s about it, Bart?

    To be honest, I don’t go to the pictures much,
    Mr. Lipnik –

    That’s okay, that’s okay, that’s okay – that’s
    just fine. You probably just walked in here
    thinking that was going to be a handicap,
    thinking we wanted people who knew something
    about the medium, maybe even thinking there was
    all kind of technical mumbo-jumbo to learn.
    You were dead wrong. We’re only interested in
    one thing: Can you tell a story, Bart? Can
    you make us laugh, can you make us cry, can you
    make us wanna break out in joyous song? Is
    that more than one thing? Okay. The point is,
    I run this dump and I don’t know the technical
    mumbo-jumbo. Why do I run it? I’ve got horse-
    sense, goddamnit. Showmanship. And also, and
    I hope Lou told you this, I bigger and meaner
    than any other kike in this town. Did you tell
    him that, Lou? And I don’t mean my dick’s
    bigger than yours, it’s not a sexual thing –
    although, you’re the writer, you would know more
    about that. Coffee?

  2. Steve Says:

    Anne, Roy, Norm,

    In case you don’t follow the films of Joel and Ethan Coen, what my friend Pat (AKA Archibald Drinkwater) has done (in the comment above) is to post a bit from the screenplay for the 1991 Coen brothers movie Barton Fink.

    You see, the portrait of your father as a young man does bear a resemblance to the John Torturo character, Barton Fink.



  3. ken Says:

    Nice needlecraft, OUTSTANDING hair!

  4. Erik Helland Says:

    Hello Steve and Linda!
    Great little write-up on grandpa. He would be proud! (…or maybe grumble a bit about what a complete waste of time the internet is…) Anyway, a minor clarification on his 1959 Norseman mahogany boat – the windshield is from a 1955 Ford. This is important for me should I ever have to replace the darn thing! I can’t attach pics here so you can check out the old boat at http://ecoregon.blogspot.com/ if interested. Dad (Roy) and I completely refinished her in 1990. Slapped a 55 hp Suzuki on the transom and away we went. The original ob was a 1959 Evinrude 35 hp. Very similar look to yours on this site! One other token I received was grandpa’s pipe collection. I keep them all together so if I ever want to go back in time I simply take a big whiff of the pipes and it puts me right back in his lap! In fact, I think I’ll go there now. Thanks for the remembrance!